Sunday, October 29, 2017

Can you believe it?

Hello Everyone!

Can you believe I'm back again after only a couple of days?  I thought I would give you all the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins right away since several of you requested it.  Here goes:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin
1  1/2 cups oil

Mix in mixer until all is moistened.

3 cups Flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
2 tsp. Baking powder
1  1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt

Combine with a fork and then add the dry ingredients a little at a time to the mixer until all is moistened.  Don't overmix.

Add chocolate chips and stir throughout batter.

Put in muffin cups.  I filled to the top of the cup and it made 24 regular sized muffins, NOT the jumbo Costco size ones.

Bake at 375 about 15 minutes or until toothpick in the center is clean.

You can also make into loaves if you prefer.

I hope you all enjoy them as much as we did.

Sam I Am asked if I'm on Ravelry.  Yes, I sure am.  Please feel free to friend me if you are too.  My name is "betsyq".  Not very original I know, but it works!  Ha!

The pattern for my zig-zag baby blanket is one I've had for years and years.  I think it was from a Leisure Arts brochure back in the olden days!  I don't know if it is still in print or available.  If you can't find it anywhere just let me know.

This was our view on our drive yesterday.  We have mountains, rivers and high dessert all within a half hour to an hour drive from our house.  This was heading out the west side of Spokane on I-90.
 Let than 45 minutes from home we were in the desert with tumbleweeds all around us.  It amazes me to see the abrupt change of landscape every time we go west.  If we had continued on another couple of hours from our destination yesterday we would have been in Seattle and the Puget Sound area.
As it was we only had to drive a little under 2 hours and we had a wonderful trip to Moses Lake,  WA to see Hayden play basketball. He's in a 2nd grade league and they won 41-9!  I was so proud of him!  He made several of the baskets and even though we are definitely NOT sports people, we thoroughly enjoyed watching his game and cheering them on.  Those boys had such great team spirit playing and were having so much fun.

When we went to Greenbluff with them a couple of weeks ago, Dennis bought each of the boys a pumpkin.  They waited to carve them until we could be with them yesterday.  We thought that was really nice of them as we've missed doing that with Kyleigh, Caleb and Piper.  The boys all had great fun and with the day in the high 60's, it was perfect "outside" weather.

The boys drew faces on the pumpkins.
Then Dennis and Jeremy helped them cut the faces out.  They really didn't require much assistance and did a great job on them.  It got so hot while they were working that Dennis took them to the store to buy lemonade for them.  That was really fun too!
 Look at the sunshine.  We took a quick picture of the completed pumpkins, the boys, Alicia and us just before we left.  Jeremy took the photo so he wasn't included.  :-(  They have a lovely home. 
Alicia had sandwich fixings all ready for us after the gam,e along with a pumpkin cake.  She also had put Sausage soup with tortellini in the Crock-pot to have for an early dinner.  We truly had a very relaxing and fun day with them all.  We had hoped to be home before dark because neither of us like to drive after dark on the interstate anymore.  We're getting old!  We didn't make it though.  We drove most of the way in the dark.  It was even more nerve wracking because about every 4-5 miles there would be a dead deer on the side of the interstate that hadn't been there when we drove earlier in the day, so we knew there were lots of deer along the roads.  You never know when one will jump right in front of you and at 70 mph it's very difficult, if not impossible to stop in time.  Thankfully we made it just fine and Alicia sent me this picture just as we drove in our driveway.
It had been too light to see them before we left.  Didn't the boys do a great job of carving the pumpkins?

Oooh Spooky!
We had church this morning and are just catching up on some things around the house now.  Dennis is putting the shower doors back on after some repairs and I have a few things to do too.  I started another baby blanket for some "mindless" crochet when I want something simple to work on.  I'm also still working on Dennis' socks and my mystery project.
Mandy called and talked to us while we drove home last night.  She was on her way home after a 12 hour shift.  She said it was really busy.  Positive influenza and strep tests, blood draws, etc.  I think the winter bugs are hitting early this year.  I do think she's enjoying being back to work part time though.  She's a wonderful nurse and we're very proud of her.  Of course, just keeping up with Piper is a full time job in itself.  That little girl is a bundle of energy.

I wore sandals to church this morning for what will probably be the last time this year.  I wore them in protest of the snow that is predicted for later this week.  Yes, I said that dreaded four letter word. SNOW!  We're supposed to have rain and snow Friday and Saturday and just snow on Sunday.  Gosh, I know it will be November, but I'm sure not ready.  We're contemplating a retirement house in Maui!  HA! HA!

I hope you're all enjoying the weekend and I'll talk to you all soon.

""For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Blessings,
Betsy

Friday, October 27, 2017

Trying Again

Hello my friends!  Well, Apple has done it again.  With the latest update I can no longer do anything with Blogger from my phone or iPad.  It says that Blogger needs to be updated to work with their systems.  Oh well.  For now anyway, for the first time in several years, it let me upload photos from the desktop.  We're still in business, if only for a short while until the computer decides to not cooperate again.  I am SO technology illiterate.  I need my kids at home again to teach me. :-)

Okay, enough grumbling and moaning. It's been a great week.  Last Friday we went to Coeur d'Alene, ID for a meeting.  We had breakfast at Cracker Barrel first.  It was really good this time.  Look at the goodies in the gift shop.  They always have the best things.  They must have a great buyer for their stores.

Oodles of ceramic gourds, pumpkins and owls.  I love the designs on them.
 A cute turkey shirt.  This almost came home with me.
 Owls were really big in the d├ęcor theme.
 I wanted it all and bought none of it!  Aren't you proud of me?
 The trees were beautiful but the clouds were not cooperating with our plans.
 After our meeting we had planned to go walk the boardwalk on the lake around the resort, (resort photo below).  It rained and rained and rained.  So instead....
 ....I found a new to me yarn store called "KnitKnit".  The owner and I whined together just a bit about being the only knitters not at Rhinebeck last weekend.  Okay, okay.  I know there are lots of you knitters that weren't there either, but last weekend, in that yarn store, we felt like the only ones! Ha!  I came home with one lonely skein of yarn.  It's a beautiful black, grey and cream yarn with a very few specks of red from an Indy dyer named "sewhappyjane".  The colorway is "Writing's on the Wall."  Don't you just love it?  Only one skein, because the cost of one skein of this yarn just about sent Dennis into conniptions.  :-)  It will be saved for something very special.  I don't know what yet.
 We had our first fire of the season on Saturday. It was cold and damp outside and the fire felt so good.  We invited Neal and Jenny over at the last minute for a dinner of lasagna, salad and bread with brownies and ice cream for dessert.  It felt like a fall comfort meal and we had a great time.
 I did a test knit this week for Teresa on her hat pattern.  I wanted to make it for an older teen/adult so I added some stitches and a few rows and it fit Dennis and I each perfectly.  I'm going to give it to a very deserving teenager at church on Sunday.  He deserves it and is such a great kid.  It looks brown in the photos but it is really grey.
 I also began a test knit for Taci at TaciStudios.  It will be a shawl and is somewhat larger than this right now, but it's a test knit so there has to be mystery involved. :-)
 Dennis had an endoscopy done on Tuesday and they did biopsies of his throat and stomach.  We won't hear anything for a week or two so prayers would be much appreciated.  We were there hours and hours and hours because they were running late.  It was a typical "hurry up and wait" situation.  I was the only person left in the waiting area for the last several hours.  Good thing I had my knitting with me.
 And then!  I have been trying to meet up with fellow blogger Pammy Sue since she moved here from Texas awhile back and it has just never worked out.  Dennis and I drove right by her house on our way to Canada last week, but she wasn't home.  She let me know that she would be driving to Spokane this week to do some errands and we made plans to meet for lunch on Wednesday.  Well!  We couldn't wait for lunch.  She texted me when she was at Hobby Lobby and I drove right over, (I only live a mile or so from HL).  We had fun shopping and then had lunch together.  She is a wonderful lady and I wish we lived closer.  She's only about 10 miles from the Canadian border, about 2 hours from me on two lane highways through the mountains, so especially in the wintertime travel is not easy.  It was wonderful to finally meet though and we hope to do it again soon when she's in town.
 She gave me a set of Pioneer Woman measuring bowls that I have been wanting since they came out.  I just rarely buy stuff like that for myself so I was very touched that she knew me so well.  Also some teas that will be wonderful with the cold weather moving in.
 I finished a baby blanket for a new little niece that will be joining our family in January.  I just love these blankets.
 I thought I would throw in a picture Mandy sent me yesterday of Piper doing her new favorite chore.  I wonder how long this will last and she'll actually ask to clean the floors! :-)
 I made these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin muffins yesterday and they are Amazing! I used my new measuring cups too. :-) If anyone would like the recipe just let me know.  There are tons of pumpkin recipes out there right now and I don't want to bore you.  They were a hit at Bible study last night and several people took one home for breakfast today.  That's when you know something is good, everyone wants to take it home!  :-)
 Finally, this is a terrible photo, but I finished Jeremy's HUGE socks.  I also have a pair for Dennis about 3/4 completed but I'm taking a break and doing some crochet because my hands are hurting from all of the socks I've made lately.
We're driving to Moses Lake, WA tomorrow to watch Hayden, Alicia & Jeremy's son play in a school basketball game.  It's about 2 hours west of Spokane.  They have no family here, so if you remember from my previous posts we're kind of like adopted grandparents.  He's so excited that we're coming to see him play.  So in the past two weeks we've been north to Canada, East to Idaho and west to Moses Lake.  I think we'll be staying home for awhile after this.  It does feel good to be able to go places again after the past year of babying my back.

I've got to run, I wanted to be at the dreaded Costco when they opened to avoid the lines and I'm not going to make it.  I hope you all have a lovely week and enjoy the end of fall...at least up here I fear it's the end.  We have snow predicted at the end of the week next week.  EEK!

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst." 1 Timothy 1:15

Blessings,
Betsy

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fall is Here!

Hello my friends.  Fall has arrived.  We went from very warm temperatures to quite chilly weather over night.  With 50+ mph winds on Tuesday, many of the leaves have been blown off of trees.  The nip in the air makes it perfect for snuggling down at home with some blankets, hot tea and knitting though, so it's not all bad. :-)

Our camping plans fell through for the weekend after we got all packed up and drove to the State Park just outside of Spokane.  Would you believe that every spot except one was taken and the one left was not one we wanted at all.  We ended up going back home, unpacking the trailer and then Dennis winterized it for the year.  We didn't get to use it at all this year.  After getting everything stored away I called my sweet friend Alicia.  She worked with me many years ago and Dennis officiated at her and Jeremy's wedding several years ago.  Their little family had planned to stop by our campsite to visit on their way home after visiting a nearby orchard and pumpkin patch.  I invited ourselves along on their adventures instead!  Here's Dennis toting the boys pumpkins and Jeremy carrying a box of apples we picked in the orchard.
Kale and Hayden don't have any grandparents close by and even though they live almost 2 hours from us, they have adopted us as stand in grandparents.
I love Alicia.  She is such a sweetheart and I love that they like to spend time with us.  We may be with them for Thanksgiving this year too.  After the pumpkin patch, they came home with us and we ate the food we had planned to use on the camping trip so it all worked out.  I had pre-cooked a lot of things so it was just a matter of warming everything up.
Since the camping trip didn't work out, we decided to take an impromptu drive to Canada for lunch on Monday.  We were hoping to see some fall color and we weren't disappointed.  First we drove to Deer Park, WA and had breakfast and then continued on our way.  This ranch looks straight out of the old west doesn't it?
Lots of color everywhere we looked.
We made it into Canada after a long stop at the border.  Either the guards were bored or we looked suspicious, because they had us exit the car and they did a full search of the car.  Since the border crossing took so long, we only had time for a quick lunch in Trail, BC before heading back towards home.  We didn't want to be driving after dark when our goal was to see autumn leaves!  I always have difficulty when the signs are in km instead of miles.  I'm not good at the math conversion.
In Rossland, BC we found a street named for us.  :-)
And this interesting horse on the corner.
On another corner was this girl riding a pig!  Rossland is a really cute little touristy town high in altitude.
We crossed back into the States with no issues at the border whatsoever and stopped in Kettle Falls,  WA at an antique store that I like.  A few of these things are in my own kitchen and I've never considered them antiques!  What does that say about my age? Ha!
This precious pile of quilts and hand crocheted doilies and table toppers was beautiful.  Since we're trying to downsize, I didn't buy a thing, but the prices were unbelievably inexpensive.  A hand crocheted table topper about 28 inches in diameter was only $10.  That is just so sad to me.  So much work by someone and then sold so cheaply.
I've been knitting on a pair of men's socks since Monday.  They are for Jeremy and he wears size 11.5 shoes!  These socks are seriously huge!  As you can see, I ran out of yarn before I finished the toe on the first sock and knew I had to go by more yarn.  I had thought one 50g skein of Patons Kroy per sock would do it and that is turning out to be not nearly enough.
Here it looks like the pair is almost done, but don't be fooled.  I messed up on the top one and did the toe and kitchenered it closed before I measured. Two inches too short!  Oh no!  Rookie mistake.  (Did I mention above that I'm not good at math?)  They fit Dennis but not Jeremy, so off I went to buy MORE yarn and now I have two more socks to make.  I blame it on 1:00 a.m. knitting and tired eyes.  I read the measuring tape completely wrong somehow.  Oh well.  They will both get a new pair of socks and they can match each other. Ha! 
Our princess has been sick this week.  She even had to miss pre-school yesterday.  She was the snack helper and that's a big deal so she was disappointed.  Mandy tells me that today her fever is gone today and she seems somewhat better.  The "bugs" seem to be starting early this year. 
Dennis has one last vacation day tomorrow so we're planning to meet with our financial advisor in Coeur d'Alene, ID in the morning to sign some papers.  We're hoping the weather cooperates and we can play tourist and take a walk around the resort and the boardwalk on Lake Couer d'Alene.  We haven't been there all summer except for just driving through town.  For those of you who don't know, it's a town that the "rich and famous" like to play in.  Lots of Hollywood types have homes in or near Coeur d'Alene.  It really is a beautiful place.  If it rains as forecast we'll have to come up with a plan B.  I refuse to complain about rain after the dry summer we had. :-)

I want to get these socks off the needles so I can start on a test knit I've been asked to do for my dear friend Taci in Portland.  She wants to publish it soon so I have GOT to get busy.  But I promised Jeremy these socks by next weekend when we drive to Moses Lake, WA to watch Hayden's basketball game.  My hands are hurting from these little needles and the wool.  I think I need a break from socks for awhile.  I've been making a lot of them lately.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that I delivered 89 pairs of mittens to the school yesterday.  I forgot to take a picture though.  It was down from the 100+ pair last year, but they were still very happy to get them.  I think with the cold weather we're having lately, they will be needed very soon.  Everything was covered in frost the past few mornings.

I hope you all have a lovely week and are enjoying the change of seasons.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17

Blessings always my friends,
Betsy











Thursday, October 12, 2017

Home!

I'm home!  I tried, I really did try to comment on all of your lovely posts but I finally gave up.  I did read most of them and hopefully, starting today, I'll be back in a somewhat normal pace of life.  But, oh, how I miss my girls!  Being torn between two places is pretty hard.  I couldn't wait to be back with Dennis, but now I'm missing Mandy and Piper.

It was a beautiful flight to Omaha.  I had a layover in Minneapolis each direction and, I must say, people were really nice there.  I had a little over two hours with each layover, timed right at mealtime so I picked up some very unhealthy airport food, and the people working there were so nice.  The wheelchair pushers I met in the concourses and the golf cart drivers who whisked by me as I walked always smiled and said hello and have a nice day.  It really gives me hope that the world isn't nearly as bad as the news would have us believe.
Look at this face!  I mean, really.  Who could resist that smile?  Not this Grandma. :-)
There was a sign outside her preschool classroom on her birthday.
Mandy and I made these tutu's for the little girls who came to the family party.  Mandy did most of the work.  All I did was sew the waistbands.  She painstakingly tied each piece of tulle onto the waistband.
Then she clipped them to a ribbon tied to the railing.  We made them different sizes to fit the different girls attending.  The tiny one second to the left is for a 6 month old.  Isn't it precious?  They were a definite hit with the girls.
Piper got a Belle dress up dress from Dennis' Mom, Pipers great-grandma.  To say that was a great gift for her would be an understatement.  She loves Belle.  Here she is sitting on her great-uncles lap,  (Brad's uncle) showing us their matching clothes. They definitely have lots and lots of family around in Omaha.  Quite a difference to when they lived in Maryland.
One of her birthday gifts was this fairy garden.  Mandy had to work the day after I got there so Piper and I had fun with the garden.  She painted the dish and some of the ceramic pieces and then we planted the grass and other seeds.  This was growth after just 8 days or so!  It really is quite magical when you think about it. 
I think she did a beautiful job.
When I got home late Tuesday night I found out fall had arrived while I was gone.  The trees were still green in Omaha but this is what greeted me here in Spokane.
Gorgeous!
After Piper was in bed in the evenings, Mandy and I spent time knitting together while watching Netflix.  Here I am all comfy on the loveseat with both of her cats.  Amelia and Franny always remember me and love to sit and sleep with me.  If you look closely there is a cat on my lap and one of the arm of the loveseat.  They look just alike and blend in with the furniture.  They are great cats and are getting up there in years, but they always remember Grandma!
I finished a pair of Hermione socks and left them for Mandy without remembering to take a picture.  I finished these on the plane home and they are the Petty Harbour pattern.  Sorry it's a bit blurry.  It's very overcast and the lighting is awful today.
I bought this yarn at Hobby Lobby to make a chemo cap for a friend at church who was diagnosed with Leukemia. 
And this is a mystery project that I began yesterday.
All was not roses when I got home.  Our neighborhood had some issues with unruly teenagers over spring break.  While I was gone, last week virtually every house for a 3 block stretch was "egged" including ours.  All of the neighbors have an idea of who may have done this but no proof.  Then, at 2:15 am Wednesday morning, after I got home from the airport late Tuesday night, we woke up to someone hitting the front of our house with bats or sticks, by the time we got our wits about us and got to a window, they were running down the street.  We went outside and this greeted us.
They had broken both of the lights by our garage doors.  The infuriating thing is that we had just replaced the old lights with these last month.  They automatically go on and off with sunset and sunrise and were not inexpensive.  I had to go buy two more yesterday and Dennis will replace them tomorrow. 
I talked to several neighbors yesterday and apparently we were the only ones hit with the vandalism this time.  Eggs to bats.  It sure sounds like things are escalating.  My question is, "Where are the parents?"  Who lets their kids roam at 2:15 in the morning?  The lady that lives across the street from the teen everyone believes is the "ringleader" says that he comes and goes at all hours and has already broken several windows in their house this week.  The police won't do anything because we don't know without a doubt who is doing it.  I filed a Crime Check report but they told me nothing will be done.  They don't even send the police out over vandalism.

We have lived here over 15 years and never, ever had any problems before.  It's always been a very quiet neighborhood and this makes me just sick.  I'm almost afraid to go to sleep now.  Not a great welcome home.

On a much happier note, we're hoping to take the small trailer out for this weekend before winterizing it.  Dennis closed up the lake trailer while I was gone so that's done for the year.  We really would like to use the little trailer at least once this year, but snow is falling pretty close to home today.  We'll see what happens.

I had a good time while in Nebraska.  I was able to spend a lot of time with Mandy, Piper and Brad.  Mandy started working every other weekend as an RN so Piper will be at home with Daddy those weekends.  A nice arrangement with no need for daycare.  And there is family to fill in when needed.  I'm happy about that.

I also spent a day with my sister and we drove to the very southern edge of Nebraska to Beatrice and visited our aunt who has recently had to move into an assisted living facility.  I try to visit Aunt Joyce when I go back home, but was unable to go when we were there in July so I was really looking forward to this visit.  I also saw my cousin who is only 11 days younger than I am.  We grew up together so that was a special treat too.  :-)

Dennis' brother was also visiting from Florida and I hadn't seen him in over 10 years!  We were able to have lunch together too.  I also had several visits with Dennis' mom and sister.  Family is such a blessing.  Because everyone lives there, we are struggling with the decision of where to live after retirement.  We love Spokane, but family is family.  Decisions must be made.

Now I need to get some cleaning finished before Bible study here tonight.  It's good to be home, my friends.  I'll try to catch up with you all soon.

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful."  Colossians 3:15

Blessings,

Betsy